June 13, 2019

The Poetry of Michael Glassman

The Poetry of Michael Glassman


Heat waves frolic along the desert’s endless edge 
I hear the shuffling of camel’s toes 
The soft landing of camel dung  
The smell adding to my woes 
My knees embedded in sand 
Awaiting the wrath of the Queen of Hearts 
The bald ibis watches from his rocky perch 
I glimmer a glint of silver through shrouded eyes 
To the camels and ibis it’s no surprise 
They’ve seen many times how a man dies 

Heat waves frolic along the desert’s endless edge 
Having no power to stop their play 
On a whim of the wind they hold their place 
The camel and Ibis are rarely seen 
Betwixt the sand and the dust devil’s space 
The wind has no say as to what happens next 
When frolicking ends and attention is paid 
A man with no head leaves them perplexed 
To the camel and ibis it’s no surprise 
They’ve seen many times how a man dies 


My yellow bus
My Yellow bus 
Kept them safe enough 
But when they left my yellow bus
They didn’t know how safe they were 
They had no time to pray 

I tied their laces, I brushed their hair 
I wiped their runny noses 
Today I drive the same sad streets 
And when I glance up to the mirror 
Or run the tape from before the end of time 
I see a rose on every seat 
And stop to let the others on. 


I saw a soldier with titanium legs 
Walk unaided into a dining room
With fork and knife back in place  
My hands covered my quivering face          

Opposite me sat a military mom
Her son deployed in Afghanistan 
Only God knows what passed through her mind 
When the gallant warrior began to dine. 


No union jacks bobbed in the bay 
No red coats marshaled on the quay 
U.S.S. Constitution gently swayed at its mooring. 
Gun ports closed, sails furled 
The silversmith too lay undisturbed  
When the spirit of seventy-six awakened his soul.  
The enemy is here, he treads among us 
You must ride, you must ride, implored the fife and drum  
To warn your old towners to stray from their course 
Out of the old granary burial ground hoofs from the past 
Arose to the task.  But a mile to ride was a mile too far. 
When the sound of the blast ended his task 
He reigned in his horse and wept.  

Michael Glassman is a former high school teacher who has been writing poetry, fiction and non-fiction pieces as well as two ten minute plays.  He has been published in the Chronogram magazine, Karpeles, and online in Bright Sleep, Voices From Here, and Foliate.

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